Choosing a Phlebotomy School near Muscle Shoals Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Muscle Shoals AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Muscle Shoals AL area labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Muscle Shoals AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at Muscle Shoals AL junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Muscle Shoals AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- American Medical Technologists (AMT).
There are a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Muscle Shoals AL students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the Muscle Shoals AL colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Muscle Shoals AL job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Muscle Shoals AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the Muscle Shoals AL training program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with Muscle Shoals AL healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Muscle Shoals health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Muscle Shoals AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Muscle Shoals AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Muscle Shoals AL?
Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Both the city and the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Area (including four cities in Colbert and Lauderdale counties) are commonly called "the Shoals".Northwest Alabama Regional Airport serves the Shoals region, located in the northwest section of the state.
Since the 1960s, the city has been known for music – developing the "Muscle Shoals Sound", as local recording studios (including FAME Studios in the late 1950s and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in 1969) produced hit records that shaped the history of popular music.
Due to its strategic location along the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals played a key role in historic land disputes between Native Americans and Anglo-American settlers in the late 18th century and early 19th century.
Muscle Shoals was the site of an attempted community development project by Henry Ford in 1922. The original streets of Muscle Shoals were named after streets in Detroit, Michigan due to Henry Ford's influence in the area. Just like Detroit, Woodward Avenue is the name of the main road through the city. Henry Ford's inability to acquire land from the Tennessee Valley Authority foiled his desire to create a 75-mile industrial megalopolis from Decatur to the tri-state border of Pickwick Lake. The Ford Motor Company operated a plant in the Listerhill community, three miles east of Muscle Shoals, for many years before closing in 1982.
Select the Right Phlebotomy College near Muscle Shoals AL
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Muscle Shoals AL.
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